Introducing ‘Demac Latest Reviews’

The ‘Reviews’ feature of Magento is a neat and pretty well implemented feature. There’s control for approving reviews, the ability to include multiple rating systems, and a simple, user-friendly interface for submitting reviews. However its placement is a bit static on the product view screen and reviews are not easily accessible on a standard Magento website.  Wouldn’t it be great to be able to place a ‘Reviews’ block wherever you wanted on your site? Of course you could buy some “advanced reviews” module, or you could use ours for free.

Introducing ‘Demac Latest Reviews’, which allows you to place a recent reviews block anywhere on your Magento site. This module gives you the ability to set the amount of recent reviews to display, filter the highest rating for a review, and choose whether the review links directly to the product. I’ve made sure that this module is as self-contained and unobtrusive as possible. It does not rewrite any blocks but rather mimics a ‘Reviews’ block providing us with the latest product reviews. It doesn’t even use its own template but rather it uses the default reviews template. Of course it’s still possible to use your own template built on top of the standard review template. Follow the steps below to start using ‘Demac Latest Reviews’.

  1. Begin by downloading and installing our module, ‘Demac Latest Reviews’.
  2. In your local.xml file in your custom theme, define a new block under the appropriate xpath. If we wanted to use ‘Demac Latest Reviews’ in the footer, we would write it as follows:

<default>

<reference name=”footer”>

<block type=”latestreviews/list” as=”latestReviews” template=”review/product/view/list.phtml” />

</reference>

</default>

Of course if you would like your latest reviews block to look different than the standard reviews block, you can specify your new template here. Remember to use <?php echo $this->getChildHtml(‘latestReviews’) ?> if the block is not automatically outputted like in the footer template. If you would like to include the reviews block in a CMS page or static block, you can use the code {{block block_id=”latest_reviews” template=”review/product/view/list.phtml”}}

  1. Unfortunately we can’t do all the work for you – because the reviews block is styled within styles.css with the class .product-view before .box-reviews, you may have to make a few adjustments. Also, if you’re including the block on a CMS page that pesky ‘.std’ class gets in the way as well.
  2. If you would like to adjust the settings, log into the backend of Magento and navigate to System > Configuration > Catalog > Catalog > Product Reviews and you should see the fields that can be adjusted there.

You’re done!

Click here to download ‘Demac Latest Reviews’